Los Angeles Lakers basketball star LeBron James is facing harsh blowback for sending out a tweet on social media threatening an Ohio police officer who shot and killed 16-year-old Ma’Khia Bryant while she was attempting to stab another girl to death. He has since deleted the tweet.
Bodycam footage shows how the attack played out during the shooting of Bryant as she raised the knife to allegedly stab the other girl. The officer shouted a number of times for people to get down. He fired four shots, hitting Bryant. She was reportedly rushed to a hospital where she was later pronounced dead. When asked why he opened fire, Officer Nicholas Reardon responded, “She had a knife. She just went at her.”
Initial reports on Tuesday by the media incorrectly portrayed the officer as shooting an unarmed teenager. Many on the left ran with the accusation without getting the facts first.
James was one of many on the left who insinuated that the shooting was unjustified in a knee-jerk reaction following the conviction of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin in the death of George Floyd.
(Video Credit: Fox News)
“YOU’RE NEXT #ACCOUNTABILITY,” James threatened on Twitter with an hourglass emoji. He posted a picture of Officer Nicholas Reardon who was involved in Bryant’s shooting and sent out the tweet to his 50 million followers.
James would later delete the tweet on Wednesday and offer an explanation of sorts but not an apology or retraction.
This post by @KingJames could be read as an incitement to violence against a @ColumbusPolice officer who responded to the attempted stabbing attack by #MakhiaBryant. LeBron James has deleted the tweet. Here is an archive: https://t.co/6Dn4LnS22M #BLM pic.twitter.com/epH7EQFjuf
— Andy Ngô (@MrAndyNgo) April 21, 2021
“ANGER does any of us any good and that includes myself!” he wrote. “Gathering all the facts and educating does though! My anger still is here for what happened that lil girl. My sympathy for her family and may justice prevail!”
He continued, “I’m so damn tired of seeing Black people killed by police. I took the tweet down because its being used to create more hate -This isn’t about one officer. it’s about the entire system and they always use our words to create more racism. I am so desperate for more ACCOUNTABILITY.”
ANGER does any of us any good and that includes myself! Gathering all the facts and educating does though! My anger still is here for what happened that lil girl. My sympathy for her family and may justice prevail! 🙏🏾✊🏾🤎👑
— LeBron James (@KingJames) April 21, 2021
I’m so damn tired of seeing Black people killed by police. I took the tweet down because its being used to create more hate -This isn’t about one officer. it’s about the entire system and they always use our words to create more racism. I am so desperate for more ACCOUNTABILITY
— LeBron James (@KingJames) April 21, 2021
Others on the left such as Black Lives Matter co-founder Bree Newsome weighed in and also attacked the officer: “Teenagers have been having fights including fights involving knives for eons. We do not need police to address these situations by showing up to the scene & using a weapon against one of the teenagers. Y’all need help. I mean that sincerely.”
Former Obama aide Valerie Jarrett also claimed the officer had shot Bryant “in order to break up a knife fight.”
The New York Times and The Washington Post both completely failed to mention the knife that Bryant was wielding at the time of the shooting on Twitter.
Senators Tom Cotton and Ted Cruz both accused James of inciting violence against the police officer.
The largest police union in the country condemned James’ message as “disgraceful and extremely reckless.”
The National Fraternal Order of Police tweeted that he “should educate himself and, frankly, has a responsibility to do so, on the facts before weighing in.”
“The officer saved a young girl’s life. No amount of gaslighting will change that fact,” the union stated.
Former MLB star Lenny Dykstra called on the NBA to take action against James: “Hey, @nba, have you disciplined #LeBronJames for making a real and ongoing threat to the life of the brave officer in Columbus who prevented a knife attack from being even worse?”
Many more accused the NBA star of targeting the officer:
Lebron James is inciting violence against an Ohio police officer.
This is disgraceful and dangerous.
Is the NBA okay with this? Is Twitter?
— Tom Cotton (@TomCottonAR) April 21, 2021
On behalf of pro athletes, current and former, I apologize for how #LeBronJames just showed his inner Maxine Waters and made a very real, ongoing threat to the life of the officer who quickly acted to prevent a knife attack from becoming worse. Many of us appreciate what LEOs do!
— Lenny Dykstra (@LennyDykstra) April 21, 2021
That cop did nothing wrong by any reasonable standard, and now someone with 50 million followers is encouraging attacks against him. That’s on top countless news organizations lying about his actions. Decent people need to speak out. Real people will get hurt by this stuff.
— AG (@AGHamilton29) April 21, 2021
You took it down becaause you jumped to conclusions. Please take ACCOUNTABILITY https://t.co/j93nhwHLCk
— Christopher Woodard (@tanner_woodard) April 21, 2021
In other words…
inciting violence for personal gain & profit across state lines made his PR guy & lawyer crap their pants when the FBI called talking about RICO statute violations, so they made him pull it.
But that's okay,
it's archived. https://t.co/FmRuHOrmrC
— TheCaptainSlappy (@MyCaptainSlappy) April 21, 2021
We all want accountability. This is why you are being held accountable for rattling sabers before you had the facts. He saved a black life and you said NOTHING praising that. Be better. https://t.co/kjKI2wueSO
— NeGz (@cantbecensored4) April 21, 2021
The real accountability should be for you. Or anyone using the platform you have to promote hate and division. You lie. You misinform. You are telling young black kids to fear cops. Would u have preferred the 13 year old black girl be murdered? Help me understand. https://t.co/VoDdPiE15n
— robert northern (@bobbyn0824) April 21, 2021
Person complains about more hate being created after creating more hate. https://t.co/plkRZFZlQ7
— Zentrification (@Zentrification1) April 21, 2021
You took the tweet down because you're inciting violence against the police, quit pushing hate and division and go back to bouncing a ball! https://t.co/pZ2CqnjEgN
— Sportsman Nate (@foursticks_nate) April 21, 2021
— Amy (@RestingTwitFace) April 21, 2021
You're wrong this time. If that was your wife or child about to get stabbed you would have pulled the trigger yourself to stop it from happening to your loved one. Wouldn't matter race, religion, sexual orientation. You would STOP it if you had to by any means necessary. https://t.co/GZl8pt5XVW
— Chris (@BrauerII) April 21, 2021
Nothing like dodging responsibility to lecture people about responsibility. Lebron would not have cared if the innocent black girl got stabbed https://t.co/5YA75MjMOh
— Demokratur (@zari_el) April 21, 2021
So I’m guessing the life of the other girl she was about to brutally stabbed doesn’t matter at all. What a joke.
— Wesley D (@wesleydugger) April 21, 2021
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